Sometimes you just have to rant. Or vent. Or let all the steam out. It’s good for you! In this episode Michelle and Kathy open up about unrealistic expectations, demands on time, and even failure on their own parts to get all the stuff done. And Michelle even cusses a little. But doesn’t it feel better once you let it all out?
[00:00:01] Speaker A: Start your week smiling with your friends Kathy Zant and Michelle Frechette. It’s time to get ready for some weekly motivation with WPMotivate.
Happy Friday, Kathy. TGIF.
[00:00:16] Speaker B: TGIF. And next week’s a holiday week.
[00:00:19] Speaker A: Like, I know.
[00:00:22] Speaker B: How’s the Black Friday stuff going? I’m kind of a little bit out of it this year. Everybody okay?
[00:00:28] Speaker A: I think so. I’m the one who approves all of the Black Friday deals onto post status, and we’re at almost 300, and I know more are coming. I know. It’s just like. And then people will be like, I submitted it. How come it’s not there? I’m like, because we actually vet these things.
We check your dates, we look at, make sure there’s no typos. Some people have actually just put, like 30 as the memo line, as their listing. 30. I’m like, 30 what?
Or 30% or even just 30% off. I’m like, maybe you should put your product name in there so that when people search, it actually shows up. But anyway, yes, most people have done it the right way, but it is funny. And I have laughed a little bit internally. I fix them, of course, so that I’m presenting all of them properly. But it does make me laugh a little bit, for sure.
[00:01:27] Speaker B: Marketing is hard sometimes.
[00:01:29] Speaker A: Envy, right. It just goes to show that the people who are submitting them are not necessarily the marketing team.
[00:01:37] Speaker B: True.
[00:01:38] Speaker A: Yeah.
Anyway, we always try to keep it real positive here because we call it W motivation. But I got to thinking that sometimes negative stuff can actually be motivational and instructional. Right. So I wanted to tell you about something that happened this week, and for anybody who’s listening, I actually started to tell Kathy before, and I was like, no, I’m going to save it. I’m not going to tell you so that I can get your reaction for real. And not like, oh, I just heard this five minutes ago. So yesterday I get a lot of DMs. Allie and I have talked about this over at underrepresented tech. I get a ton of DMs. Right. All the time. And I know that’s par for the course. You have a big name in the community. People are going to try to connect with you, whatever. And I love when people connect with me. I really do. What I don’t like is when people set an expectation that because they recognize my face, I have to do what they’re telling me. Right. And so this person yesterday, I’m not even going to tell you what continent they’re on because it doesn’t matter. But this person yesterday with 24 followers on Twitter, and I think that’s relevant messages me. And basically, this is why you should hire me to do your projects. Not like a hello.
I think they did say, I followed you for a while. I went to their account. Like, literally, they had created their account the week before. So I’m not really sure what follow me for a while means. But anyway, and this is the things I do, and I would love to work for you. And they did say, for free, I want to create your content for free. Okay, first of all, nobody creates my content but me because it’s my personal brand. I’m not letting other people write in my voice.
It doesn’t feel right to me. So I said, thank you, but I’m fine.
So then they posted something on Twitter x whatever. And I’m going to say it that way forever, by the way, Twitter x whatever, that is how I say it on every, every time I talk to anybody. Twitter x Whatever. So on that platform, they posted something about hiring them to do work, and they put four images of work that they’ve done, and they tagged me as an image in the image as though it were a photo of me.
Okay, I went from, no, thank you. I don’t have any jobs for you to, what the fuck are you doing, asshole?
It’s funny because when people hear me swear sometimes, like, oh, my God, did you? Michelle swears. And I’m like, yeah, people on the inner circle know that every other word is that when they talk to me. But anyway, I went from zero to ten, like, so freaking fast, it wasn’t even funny.
And I reached back out to them and I said, I got to find.
I already deleted the conversation because I just didn’t want to see it keep coming up in my stuff.
I messaged them and I said, I can’t find everythiNg. But I messaged him. I said, this is not the way to do it. I sent it back to him and I said, I tweeted out. I’ve said it before. Tagging people in your social posts just to elevate your views is the worst way to advertise. I’ve been kind this time. I usually block and move on. So then I messaged this person, and he said, I’m sorry about that. That really turned out unexpected.
I’m open to getting corrections. Marketing is not my thing. I go, well, tagging people to boost your views is abhorrent, and I’m angry. Don’t tag me in your photos. That’s horrible marketing. I’ve untagged myself. If you do anything like that again, I will block you. You’re lucky I didn’t tag you back on this one. And he says, no, I never meant it from that view. I said, don’t message me again. So then he messaged me again.
Go through my post. You will understand that I don’t run marketing. I was requesting for a job from you by showcasing my projects to you and others. Thank you for your time, boss.
I go, you’re blocked now. I told you not to message me again. And I blocked him because, okay, first of all, you tell me you want to do content for me, and now you’re saying you don’t understand marketing?
There’s a disconnect right there. Because content is marketing, right?
It just is. Anyway, so I spent yesterday, like, irate. This person is like, trying to take advantage of my good graces because I, as most people know, really do try very hard to help people in our community. And if you come to me with a reasonable request, I usually find a way to either direct you to resources or help you if I can. Right?
And I don’t have unlimited resources myself, so I can’t just spend all day, every day, at least five times a week, I get people asking me, will you let me know if you find any jobs that suit me? I’m like, okay, first of all, I don’t know you, so I don’t know what job would suit you. Secondly, I am not a headhunter and I’m not a job placement specialist. Follow the tweets, look at the sites. That’s all I could tell you. Well, if you see anything, let me know. And I replied to this one person recently. I said, I will not be doing that. It is your job to find a job. I provide resources. I am not looking to place people in jobs. I don’t have the time or the capacity to do that. And I’m not impolite about it, but I have to push back because I can’t spend all day every day looking for jobs for people I don’t know. And then yesterday, somebody messages me who I’m connected to. I mean, I’ll connect with almost anybody on LinkedIn, quite honestly, if you want to, whatever.
And they’re like, hey, will you write me a recommendation?
I go, who are you? How could I write you a recommendation? Oh, I used to work with you at XYZ Company. I’m like, I don’t know you. I don’t know your work. Have you reached out to that boss that you had there, yeah, but they’re not responding very quickly. I said, well, I can’t write a recommendation for somebody who I have not worked with directly, sorry. So, no, I understand that my name is bigger in WordPress than I even think it is sometimes. I do get that, but that doesn’t mean that I’m everybody’s whatever. I can’t play toy doll, whatever. You can’t just like, well, she’s nice, she’ll do it. I am nice. But don’t take advantage of people’s good graces that way because I do have a dark side and I do use the F bomb sometimes. And I know where the block button is. And you don’t want to be blocked. Nobody wants to be blocked, but it happens.
I don’t know how motivational that is, but that was yesterday. That was all in one day. Both of those things happened in one day.
[00:08:25] Speaker B: Yeah. That’s the thing is, I’m pretty generous, too. I’m generous with my time, my recommendations.
I’ll talk to anybody. If somebody reaches out to me and says, hey, I’m trying to do this project or whatever, even if it’s not necessarily a fit for my job or my company. If it’s about WordPress and how to get started online and get started with your business and resources that are available in WordPress, I’m going to talk to most anybody, but I’ve had people who’ve had those kinds of things, like somebody who’s getting started with a plugin and they want this and that and the other thing. And then all of a sudden they want me to be their marketing director. And it’s just like, I’m happy to help get you started and to share information, jump on a 15 minutes call, talk to you about what you’re doing and find ways for you to, I’ll give you like 20 suggestions. That does not mean I work for you now and you’re looking for somebody to do XYZ job. I know tons of people. I’ll tell you, go talk to this person in California, this person in New York. Like, these people I think might be able to help you. And if they don’t respond to you, that’s not, don’t come at me like, well, nobody responded. I don’t know what you said to it, unless I do have, you want to have me really do the work, there are ways to pay me. Go on my website and you can book me for a meeting. And that meeting can turn into some work. Like, I’ll be happy to do that. Kind of stuff, or people will reach out to me because of my association with Cadence, and they’re like, okay, my agency wants to get switched over to Cadence, and what do you suggest? And I’ll talk through a real basic, high level of stuff.
[00:10:17] Speaker A: Right.
[00:10:17] Speaker B: But I’m not going to do the work for you.
[00:10:20] Speaker A: No.
[00:10:22] Speaker B: I used to work at Cadence, but even when you do work for Cadence, I’m not going to do your work for you.
[00:10:27] Speaker A: But I’ll talk to you about the.
[00:10:28] Speaker B: Products and I’ll talk to anybody. Still to this day, even though I’m not, like, director of marketing at Cadence anymore, I’m still helping out a little bit, and I still believe in the product very much.
Yeah. People think because there are so many people who contribute, I think it’s like twofold, one, respect people. But then also we have to be just hardcore with our boundaries of like, I will do up to here, boom, that’s it. Ask me for anything else and I’m going to say no and push it. I’m going to say no and use some of Michelle’s expletives. I’ll make you talk to Michelle. She’ll be my bouncer.
[00:11:08] Speaker A: I will bounce for you every day. All day. Kathy, you don’t even have to pay.
My favorite ones, though, are where they don’t even say hello. They don’t even say, how are you? They just send you their pitch, right? And they’re always fiver.
I don’t have a problem with fiver. I really don’t. But if you’re on Fiverr, learn how to approach people, because just sending a generic pitch and a link to your portfolio is not the way to get work.
Maybe it works sometimes, but honestly, I don’t think that’s the best way to get work. So what they do is they’ll just send you their pitch and a link to the portfolio.
My favorite way to shut them down now is to say, oh, would you like me to review your website? I charge $500 for that.
[00:11:56] Speaker B: Yeah.
[00:11:57] Speaker A: And they’re like, oh, no, I was looking for work. Oh, well, if you’d like me to review your website so you can find work, I charge $500 for that. And then they just stop because they realize that I’m not. And that’s a boundary, right? That tells them I’m not working for you for free and I am not hiring.
Or if they know, are you hiring? Or whatever.
I see this job at Cadence, I see this job at stellar. I see this job. Can you recommend me for that job or can you give me tips or anything else, like, I’m not the hiring manager.
[00:12:32] Speaker B: Yeah, fingers crossed for you. Okay, so we’re both marketers and we both have varying things that we sell or various brands that we rep.
[00:12:44] Speaker A: My.
[00:12:45] Speaker B: Job is never to go out. I’m not going to go cold call a company and say, can we do your website for you? That’s just not how I work. It’s like more inbound. And I want to sit on a call with somebody and hear what potential client like, they come to me. I want to hear what their needs are, where are their pain points? What are they trying to do? What are their goals for the next fiscal year? And then I’m going to see where those things fit in with my service offering. And so people who are doing this like, I want a job, go to that company, research that company, and then if you really want to do a cold pitch, find out what that company really needs and what their market objectives are, and then explain why you are the person to help that company, that brand, whatever, achieve those objectives. Put yourself in the hiring manager’s shoes and say, okay, what does this hiring manager want? They want the best candidate possible that’s going to help Brand X get whatever it is that they need. And then you’re being of service. People are looking for what they can get rather than how they can serve. And you’re never, ever going to sell. If you’re looking for what you’re going to get, you’ve got to look at how you’re going to be of service.
[00:13:56] Speaker A: Yeah. And you know, right now we get what depending on the job, of course. But like hundreds of applicants for every open position right now in tech, right. I will have people email me, attach their resume and ask me, who can I speak to about the job at Cadence is a job that’s open right now. Who can I speak to about the marketing role at Cadence? And I reply and say, you have to apply through the website.
And they will inevitably respond back and say, but I’d like to be connected to the person. And I say, if you cause more friction in the hiring process, you go to the bottom of, you will not be considered at all. Go through the proper channels, show that you understand how to follow directions and not try to circumvent the process. If I said, oh, you have to talk know Joe Smith, and you start pinging Joe Smith, Joe Smith’s going to be pissed off because you are not following the right protocol.
[00:14:54] Speaker B: And now you have shown that so important.
[00:14:56] Speaker A: You don’t understand how to approach people, you have caused more work for the hiring manager, not less. And as soon as they figure out which application is yours, boom, gone. You are no longer being considered.
[00:15:09] Speaker B: Yeah.
Every job offer that I have gotten in the past, let’s say three years, has been a job that I’ve applied for mostly. And I sit and I wait, and I know the people who are, because I’m in the community, and so I know these people, right? I know everybody. But you apply, you put your name in the hat, and then you sit and you wait, and they’ll see your name. If they know you and they know what you’ve done, you will be at the top of the list. Well, unless it’s liquid web. And then that person has to go fish you out of, like, I don’t even know where my application went when I was talking when I first applied at Liquid Web. And then it’s like, I went someplace else, and then they were, hey, Kathy, like, what are you doing? What’s up? And I’m like, well, I applied and I didn’t hear from y’all. So I went over here, and it was kind of a weird situation, but I knew the people.
I wasn’t going to go, no.
[00:16:19] Speaker A: I’m.
[00:16:19] Speaker B: Not going to be like, hey, give me a job.
[00:16:21] Speaker A: Right?
[00:16:22] Speaker B: No, let the process work for you. But you have to work the process.
[00:16:26] Speaker A: Right, right, exactly. It kind of reminds me, yes, there’s insider knowing people and that kind of stuff for sure. And they’re seeing a job and saying to somebody, hey, would you welcome my application or not? Because if they’re going to be like, oh, I could never afford to hire you, then that’s fine, right? Whatever. And then you haven’t wasted your time or theirs. But if they’re like, yeah, then I would go, I haven’t done it in a while, but I would go and apply through the proper channels, right? I wouldn’t be like, hey, here’s my resume. Because that’s just not the way to do it. But this is tangential, I promise. But I saw somebody once tried to follow me. This is years ago on Twitter, and in their bio, it said that they were a social media influencer.
They had 20 followers. And I’m like, okay, I get that you could influence 20 people, but I still wouldn’t call that a social media influencer. So make sure that you’re not only following the right channels, but that you’re using right terminologies that you are presenting yourself.
They say, dress for the job you want, not for the job. You have. I get that. But that doesn’t mean inflate your bio, that doesn’t mean pad your resume. It really means be indicative of who you are and speak to speak, walk the walk, all that kind of stUff. But, gosh, yeah, maybe it’s just. Maybe I’m just crushed with Black Friday, cyber Monday work. And I just was, like, feeling a little spicy yesterday, but like, gosh, they were coming out of the woodwork and I was like, oh, uncle, I’m done going to order pizza and go to bed. Gosh, yeah.
[00:18:07] Speaker B: That is so funny. Oh, my gosh.
[00:18:09] Speaker A: Yeah.
[00:18:11] Speaker B: I think a lot of times it’s cultural stuff, too, for sure. Maybe it’s different in other cultures, but I try to be respectful of all the other cultures and I say I’m sorry when I cross a line and I’m like, I’m so sorry, I didn’t know. But don’t make assumptions about the culture.
[00:18:32] Speaker A: And it doesn’t mean don’t ask me questions. Right. Like, I’ve had people say to me, hey, I saw this job. Is it open, remote within the United States or is it international? I’m happy to answer a question like that. If it wasn’t clear on the job offering, I will absolutely answer those kinds of questions. But don’t ask somebody to put you forward above other people, especially if they don’t know you. Don’t ask for a recommendation. If I have never met you before and have no idea who you are, and then, well, I’m sorry I haven’t worked with you before and then they just send me their portfolio and yet I still haven’t worked with you. I could look at a website all day long. I still haven’t worked with you and I’m not going to look at your code. I’m not going to see how you put that one. No. And I’m not even the hiring manager, so this is all a moot point.
Oh, I feel better now that I ranted a little bit. That was motivational for me.
[00:19:27] Speaker B: Sometimes you just have to.
Sometimes you just have to.
You’re repping a very large brand with stellar and lots of pretty significant brands that are within stellar. And so there’s a lot of pressure that comes with that and a lot of expectations, but people just need to put themselves into your shoes and really understand.
[00:19:56] Speaker A: With a lot. I really am usually very polite when I respond. I don’t want to make it sound like I unleash expletives on people in DMs and things like that. I usually just say, I’m not the hiring manager. Please go through the proper channels to apply.
That is my pat answer, my usual answer. Or if they ask, is this remote within the United States or is this global? I will answer those questions politely, of course, but don’t continue to push and continue to push to see how much you can get out of me because I’m going to cut you off because I don’t need to live with that kind of pressure, and I do need to have boundaries. And, yeah, it took me 55 years, but I’m, like, finally finding my boundary, my backbone. So there you have it. Anyway. Yeah.
[00:20:38] Speaker B: And part of it is just not giving so much. Giving so much of a shit. Right?
My last Fox are on fire.
[00:20:46] Speaker A: A candle back here.
[00:20:50] Speaker B: Give that a little bit of a burn. I had one this past week where somebody was just like, hey, why doesn’t the cadence have search on it? And I’m like, well, you can always do know site Cadence, WP, and then it’s really easy on Google do that. But I’ll bring it up with the team. We’ll get something figured out. I can’t believe Kathy was so short with us.
[00:21:11] Speaker A: And I’m just, like, looking around, like.
[00:21:16] Speaker B: I guess I was nicer. I was just trying. I’m so sorry, but little billion things going on.
Google’s your friend. Like, use Google properly.
[00:21:28] Speaker A: Let me Google that for you.
[00:21:31] Speaker B: There’s just sometimes it just. I don’t know. Community is really hard because people do.
I’ve been involved in a lot of WordPress communities. I try very hard to be super helpful, and sometimes I am just, like, helpful. Here’s the information you need, and that’s not.
[00:21:48] Speaker A: They want my smiling face, too. Right? Yeah, no, I totally get that. And it’s true. And I think it’s funny because I think about, like, I’ve told you this before, I’ve said it publicly. I’m not ashamed. I like TikTok, and I spend time on TikTok when I’m bored or when I wake up in the morning and I just need to. My cats don’t have conversations with me. I’ll sit there and take my vitamins and scroll TikTok a little while, whatever, in the morning at my desk.
And you do. When you start to Follow the same creators over and over again, you feel like you know them. Yeah, but you have to remember that they don’t know you. And so I realized that within the community that a lot of people think they do know us. They know who we are, but they sometimes mean, in their mind, that means that they’re our friends, and it doesn’t mean that they can’t be our friends. It just means that they aren’t yet. And so when you do approach somebody, just be respectful.
99% of the people are really. I mean, this is like, this was a.
[00:22:47] Speaker B: These are outliers.
[00:22:48] Speaker A: Yeah. Yesterday was outlier day for sure. So I don’t want to make it sound like everybody’s insane, but there’s a ton of really amazing people, and they’re, by and large, the most kind, most polite, and people will approach me and, hey, will you try my plugin? And if I can, I will. And just stuff like that. Right. But don’t approach it as though you are owed my time. I guess that’s really what I’m asking.
Nobody’s owed my time unless if you are making the direct deposit because I work for you, that’s a different story altogether. Right. But nobody in the community is owed my time. They’re owed my kindness.
I do those kinds of things because I have a huge heart for our community. I love our community, and I love how far I’ve come because of other people. And so I do try to pay it forward, pay it back, and those kinds of things. But that doesn’t mean that there’s an expectation that I owe you anything or that Kathy owes you anything. And so just be kind about things. Be polite in how you respond to people. If you wouldn’t speak to your aunt or your grandmother or your cousin or the Queen of England that way, then don’t speak to us that way either. That’s all I’m asking.
[00:24:01] Speaker B: Yes, we are royalty.
[00:24:04] Speaker A: I was going to say I’m not the Queen of England. I could be your grandmother or your aunt, I don’t know. But, yeah, they’re royal ways. Is that what you’re doing? We should have got tiaras out for this episode. It’s right back there with my other office. But anyway. All right, I probably ranted too long. I’ll let it go at this point.
[00:24:28] Speaker B: Well, I save a few rants for Festivus next month. We have that coming up, and I want to celebrate that with you. Festivus in December. I’m going to bring my poll, and I’ve got my problems with you people, so I’m ready.
[00:24:41] Speaker A: I have a feeling I’ll have a few more rants by then anyway.
[00:24:45] Speaker B: Amazing.
[00:24:46] Speaker A: Yeah. You still have to get through Black Friday.
[00:24:48] Speaker B: Good luck.
[00:24:48] Speaker A: I do. And I have family that will never respect boundaries, so there’s always that oh.
[00:24:54] Speaker B: Yeah, I feel you on that.
[00:24:58] Speaker A: Well, we won’t be recording next week. It is not only Thanksgiving here in the United States, it is also Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and we will be underwater for most of the week. So if you are celebrating Thanksgiving next week, I know Kathy and I both wish you a happy holiday. Enjoy your time with family if that’s what you’re doing, or enjoy your time alone with a bag of shrimp, which is what I’m doing, and a bottle of we do. We do. Hope everybody enjoys the week and we will see you back after Black Friday. But have a great one. Thank you, Kathy, for, for listening to me rant and putting up with my swear words.
[00:25:36] Speaker B: Oh, same. That’s fine. Thanks.
[00:25:39] Speaker A: All right. We’ll see everybody later. Bye bye.
This has been WP motivate with Kathy Zant and Michelle Frechette. To learn more or to sponsor us, go to wp motivate.com.